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The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is a premium card well-suited for regular travelers. It comes with a hefty annual fee of $550, but here are seven reasons to consider the card anyway:
1. Superior trip cancellation and delay protection
Delays due to severe weather or mechanical issues are no fun, but they happen. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® has you covered if your delays are at least six hours or require an overnight stay.
If you’ve paid with your Chase Sapphire Reserve®, this benefit covers up to $500 per purchased ticket for the cardholder, spouse/domestic partner and dependents under 22. This covers "reasonable additional expenses" such as food, lodging, toiletries and other personal items to use during the delay.
Additionally, in the event your trip is canceled or interrupted due to sickness, severe weather or certain other circumstances, the card will reimburse you up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip for nonrefundable travel expenses, including passenger fares, tours and hotels.
2. Value boost on the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal
With the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, points are worth 1.5 cents apiece when booking through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® travel portal. For example, if you received a 50,000-point sign-up bonus from this card, you could redeem that for $750 worth of travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal. You can potentially wring even more value out of your points by transferring them to one of Chase's travel partners, such as Hyatt and United.
3. Upgrades, upgrades and more upgrades
Complimentary upgrades are available at National Car Rental, Avis and Silvercar if you book travel with your Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Additionally, cardholders can receive complimentary room upgrades, meals and more when booking at a hotel that's part of the Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection.
4. $300 annual travel credit
If the card's $550 annual fee freaks you out, this should help you breathe a bit easier: Each year, Chase offers a $300 reimbursement credit for travel. This covers tickets, bag fees and other travel purchases.
» Learn more: Chase 5/24 rule explained
5. Roadside assistance
When you think of a travel card, you probably don’t think of your daily commute, but the Chase Sapphire Reserve®'s roadside assistance perk can help you whenever you need it.
Roadside assistance covers on-the-road mishaps such as fuel delivery, a tire change, a battery jump or a lockout. You’re covered up to $50 whenever something happens, up to four times per year. Other restrictions may apply.
6. Airport security is a breeze
Traveling through airports is a bit easier with these Chase Sapphire Reserve® perks: Travelers get a $100 credit to apply toward Global Entry or TSA Precheck fees. And with Priority Pass Select, you have access to more than 1,000 airport lounges and restaurants worldwide.
7. Travel medical insurance
Emergency care while traveling is not something anyone wants to think about, but if you have a medical emergency at least 100 miles from home, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® provides up to $2,500 for emergency medical expenses and $100,000 for emergency medical evacuation. The cardholder, spouse/domestic partner and dependents under age 18 (25 if a full-time student attending an accredited institution) are eligible. Find more information about processes and restrictions here.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: Chase Ultimate Rewards: How to earn and use them NerdWallet’s top travel credit cards My credit card strategy: Fund summer camp, get “Chase Trifecta”